The former principal of Broad Acres Elementary in Silver Spring, nationally known for turning around the once-underperforming school, was honored by the Montgomery County Board of Education for her commitment to students.
Jo Ann "Jody" Leleck, a 25-year veteran of Montgomery County Public Schools, died in her Olney home on Dec. 11 after a struggle with colon cancer. The school board issued a memorandum honoring her achievements on Jan. 8.
"As a lifelong educator, Mrs. Leleck earned a well-deserved reputation as a transformative and inspiring leader with an unrelenting passion for instilling in every child a love for learning and a motivation to excel beyond his or her circumstances," wrote Board of Education President Christopher S. Barcley.
Leleck started with the district in 1984 as an English teacher for non-native speakers, the Washington Post Obituaries reports.
She became principal of Broad Acres in 1999 when the school was struggling to meet goals for standardized test scores. According to the school board memorandum, she increased 3rd grade reaching scores from just 13 percent passing to 75 percent, and maintained gains across the board for the school.
Leleck was promoted to the MCPS central office, where she worked to increase student achievement across the county. Her work was recognized by Harvard University in a book entitled Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Montgomery County Public Schools.